Celebrating 100 Years of Designated Wilderness & 75 Years of A Sand County Almanac

Aldo Leopold

A Sand County Almanac, 75th Anniversary

Aldo Leopold Family at The Shack

Aldo Leopold, a man who died before I was born, is part of my inner circle. I always look forward to cracking open his door, A Sand County Almanac.”

— Barbara Kingsolver

BARABOO, WI, UNITED STATES, January 31, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — In a pivotal year for environmental conservation, Aldo Leopold’s profound impact takes center stage. A century ago, Leopold’s advocacy led to the U.S. Forest Service designating the Gila Wilderness Area—the world’s inaugural wilderness reserve. Additionally, 75 years ago, Oxford University Press introduced A Sand County Almanac, a timeless collection of Leopold’s essays. These milestones shaped conservation history and underscored the ongoing importance of embracing Leopold’s “land ethic”—treating the land as a community to which we belong. The Aldo Leopold Foundation proudly releases a new edition of this influential work, ensuring Leopold’s legacy continues to inspire environmental stewardship.

Leopold first became familiar with the remarkable and rugged lands at the headwaters of the Gila River as a young forester working for the U.S. Forest Service in what is today New Mexico. Physically and biologically diverse, this area had long been valued and held sacred by Indigenous peoples, including the Mogollon and Chiricahua Apache.

Leopold began his career in conservation just as automobiles were coming into the American landscape—and with cars came roads. He watched as new roads fragmented the extensive wildlands of the Southwest, in part to promote tourism. In Leopold’s view, the unique expanse and beauty of the 750,000-acre Gila backcountry made it better suited for non-motorized use than for roads and timber production. This led to his novel proposal: to designate the lands as a federal wilderness area. Leopold wrote, “It will be much easier to keep wilderness areas than to create them. In fact, the latter alternative may be dismissed as impossible.” Today, the National Wilderness Preservation System protects some of the most biologically diverse and ecologically healthy areas across 806 Wilderness Areas in the United States, totaling over 111 million acres.

Twenty-five years after the Gila Wilderness designation, Oxford University Press published Leopold’s collection of poetic and philosophical essays, A Sand County Almanac. A foundational work of conservation literature, it has captivated generations of readers with its rich tapestry of history, humor, science, and lyrical prose. The Aldo Leopold Foundation proudly marks this milestone with the release of a 75th Anniversary Edition of Leopold’s classic.

Renowned author and conservationist Barbara Kingsolver provides a poignant introduction, reflecting on the perennial relevance of Leopold’s work: “Aldo Leopold, a man who died before I was born, is part of my inner circle. I always look forward to cracking open his door, A Sand County Almanac, for another chat.”

A Sand County Almanac leads readers through the diverse landscapes of Leopold’s experience. It culminates in the influential essay “The Land Ethic,” in which Leopold calls for social responsibility toward the natural world. Leopold writes, “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever written…it evolves in the minds of a thinking community.” The effort to define an ethic of care has only become more urgent since Leopold’s time.

Buddy Huffaker, President of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, highlights Leopold’s special role in this process, noting, “Leopold’s powerful voice continues to guide individuals, helping them reconcile their feelings with current events, and inspiring meaningful actions growing from an ethic of care that includes all places, and all people.”

Over the last 75 years, A Sand County Almanac has sold in the millions, been translated into 14 languages, and influenced conservationists around the world. To bring new readers to this classic, the Aldo Leopold Foundation is offering the 75th Edition for $7.50, exclusively available at www.aldoleopold.org.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation, a non-profit conservation organization, is headquartered in the LEED Platinum Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The Foundation’s staff invite enthusiasts to explore Leopold’s famed Shack, a National Historic Landmark, and learn about their restoration and care of the surrounding 4,000-acre Leopold-Pines Conservation Area. As a beacon for environmental stewardship, the foundation carries forward Leopold’s legacy, fostering care for land and people. www.aldoleopold.org

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High-Resolution Cover Photo:

For the cover photo of A Sand County Almanac, 2024 New Edition, please contact Grayce McCormick: [email protected]

Image Requests:

For popular images of Aldo Leopold, fill out the image request form at https://www.aldoleopold.org/about/the-leopold-archives/permissions-request-form/.

Additional Information:

For more information on Leopold Week 2024 with Ed Young, please visit: https://www.aldoleopold.org/news-and-events/leopold-week

Note to Editors: The Aldo Leopold Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Aldo Leopold’s land ethic and fostering care for the land and community. For more information, visit www.aldoleopold.org.

Subject Matter Experts for Interviews:

Buddy Huffaker, President and Executive Director, Aldo Leopold Foundation

Dr. Curt Meine, Leopold Biographer and Leopold Fellow

Dr. Stan Temple, Professor Emeritus, Wildlife Ecology, UW-Madison, Leopold Fellow

Grayce McCormick
Lightfinder Public Relations
[email protected]

A Sand County Almanac, 75th Anniversary Edition

Article originally published on www.einpresswire.com as Celebrating 100 Years of Designated Wilderness & 75 Years of A Sand County Almanac